Monday, September 1, 2014

Vinyl Tablecloth Smock

1. Rectangle vinyl tablecloth  2. Bias Tape  3. Large paper  4. old t-shirt

Cut the sleeves off the t-shirt and fold it in half.  Fold your paper in half.  Place the t-shirt on top of the paper with both folded edges touching.  Pin the shirt onto the paper to keep it from moving.  Trace the outline of the shirt onto the paper using a pencil.  Cut the outline.  

My shirt was bigger than I wanted, so I cut the paper a little shorter.  I pinned the paper on top of the shirt afterwards to make sure it still had the same shape.

Fold the tablecloth over.  Pin the paper pattern onto the tablecloth.  Pin the top (shoulders) on the fold.
Cut around the pattern making sure not to cut the folded top.


Pin the bias tape around the edges of the smock. Sew once all edges are secured.  I used a zig-zag stitch to make sure I got both the tape and the vinyl in the stitch.  

Step 5:

Use the circle cutout from the neck as a pocket.  Fold part of the circle and pin in onto the smock (make sure you only pin it to the front).  Sew the edge of the pocket using a zig-zag stitch.

Step 6:

I secured the sides with elastic, but ribbon or velcro can easily serve the same purpose.  

I was able to make 6 smocks for under $15.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Keepsake Box

End of the Year Keepsake Box

After our End of the Year Celebration the children received a keepsake box that held their work that was collected throughout the year.

Donated Boxes

We want to say "thank You" to Little Caesars in North Little Rock for donating the pizza boxes used in this project.

The boxes were assembled inside out (print on the inside).  This gave us a blank box to work on.

The children's handprints were used to decorate the boxes.  

The boxes were filled with items that were collected throughout the year.

Each child received a box on our celebration day. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Number Cards

Work that is displayed around the room and on the walls reflect the value of children's interest and the process of their learning.  It communicates that their work is valued, and that this is their space.

The children have made many beautiful learning materials that are used by both the children and the teachers.

Child Made Number Cards 

The children were inspired by number cards made by the previous year's students.

"Who made that? Did we do that? I don't remember working on that?"

After that I explained that the work was done by another class they decided it would be better to make their own.

Wrote the numbers from 1 - 10 on small cards.

Illustrated a number set that matched the number.  
After each illustration the children counted to check their own work.  

Illustrations finished - now time for color!

Liquid Watercolors 

Finished Product!

We have the sweetest kids. After all their work they decided it wouldn't be right to take down the other class' work.

"They worked so hard on it for us.  They might be sad if we take it down."

After some discussion they decided to save their cards and give them as a gift to the next class.

"You can put it up next year and when they ask who made it you can say we did!"

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Light & Shadow Story Telling

There is always a voice when you use a hundred languages.  With the right materials, even the shyest of kids have a story to tell.

"Kitty, kitty where you going? Kitty, kitty where you going?"
"To catch a birdie? Fly away birdie! Fly up high to the tree."

"Get in your home and go to sleep. Sleep, sleep, sleep little birdie."

More shadow and light activities:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Birthday Calendar

Our students are always celebrating birthdays whether it is or isn't their actual birthday.  One way we helped them understand months and days better was to create a birthday calendar.

Different Types of Calendars

The first thing we did was look at different types of calendars. We discussed the holidays and events that occur during each month.  Their favorites were the ones with pictures.

Writing the Months

 Each child in the group picked the months they wanted to write.

Each month was glued to a large index card.

Drawing the Pictures

The students decided that they wanted to draw pictures that represented their favorite holidays and/or activities.

The pictures were cut and added to the index cards.

Writing Their Name

  Each child wrote their name on the month that their birthday falls on.

Meaningful Print

The month cards were place in the reading area.  Putting them at eye level makes them easy to view and invites conversation among friends.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dr Seuss

I'm a Character!
Transforming Ourselves Into Dr Seuss Characters

The role of author and illustrator can be confusing for many four year olds. Author studies are a good way to make these jobs more concrete.

One of our favorite author / illustrator is Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to the world as the beloved Dr. Seuss. 

Discuss differences and similarities between the different books.
Rhyming Words
Silly Words
Story Message
Real / Make Believe
Character similarities / differences
Repeating color patterns
Uniqueness of Character

Illustrating Pictures:
After reviewing several books the child picks their favorite and begins to investigate the character they are interesting in transforming themselves into.

Adding the title or the name of their character incorporated some writing skills.

The children select the color of paint they will need for their character.

Character Transformation

10 Apples Up On Top / The Cat In The Hat / Daisy-Head Mazzie / The Grinch / Thing 2 / The Lorax

Highlighted Dr Seuss Books

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Friendship Color Mixing

Creating A Classroom Community Through Art
Part 1

Red, yellow, and blue are great alone, but when you mix them you create something beautiful.  This is how lasting friendships are formed.  Two individuals coming together to create something beautiful - FRIENDSHIP.

The children pick a friend to work with and were given a large sheet of paper to decorate.

We used tempera paint (red, yellow, blue), flannel sheets, and plastic plates.

We diluted the paint with water to make it easier for it to pass through the flannel sheet.

The children then placed one hand in one of the primary colors, and made handprints on the table.

  • "What does the paint feel like on your hands?"
  • "What do you think will happen if you hold hands and mix your colors?"
  • "Can you create that color again?"
  • "How many different colors can you make?"
  • How can you make that color brighter?"

Holding Hands to Mix Colors

Color Mixing: Yellow + Blue = Green

Color Mixing: Red + Blue = Purple

One of the final art pieces.
This is a working piece of art that the children will continue to add to, and extend their ideas.

More to come very soon!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Classroom Agreements

Classroom Agreements
A Promise We Make To Our Friends

The process of going from a "me" to a "we" based classroom is a slow process.  The children have to know that they are part of something important. They have to know that they make a difference.  They have to know that they belong.  When we belong we know that we are safe. Safe to express ourselves, safe to try new things, and safe to let our guard down.  

As a class we listed things that keep us safe:
1. What can you do to stay safe?
2. What can your friends do to help keep you safe?
3. What will keep your feelings safe?
4. What will keep your ideas safe?

The responses are different from year to year.  This year the responses fell into 5 different broad categories:
1. Respectful Words  2. Kind Hands  3. Listen When People Talk  4. Run Outside  5. Be Safe

Small Group Work
A small group was formed to decide what type of picture would best describe each category and to write out each "classroom agreement."

During morning meeting the group presented the "Classroom Agreements" chart to the class and explained why it was important for everyone to make a promise to keep themselves and their friends safe.

"If you promise to help keep our class safe put your name here."(child pointed to the chart)

Throughout the day the students from the small group went around and invited their friends to go sign the Classroom Agreements.  By the end of the day everyone had signed.

Classroom Agreements have to be reviewed and discussed regularly.  They need to be displayed in a central area and at eye level.  It is visible reminder of what they expect from each other and the promise they made to their friends.